||New Committee Will Produce Standards for Livestock Valuation
Various equipment is used in stockyards and packing plants to
determine the cash value of livestock. Problems arise when varying
devices from simple probes to complex scanners produce fluctuating
values. Measurement, accuracy, and fairness become suspect, and
old standards dont cover new technology. This year, U.S. federal
and state agencies initiated new standards for uniformity in livestock
On April 3, members of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, various
State Departments of Weights and Measures, and the National Institute
of Standards and Technology Office of Weights and Measures met
at ASTM in West Conshohocken, Pa. Livestock producers, meat packers,
equipment manufacturers, trade groups, academia, and additional
government agencies attended. Together they agreed to develop
standards for beef, pork, and poultry as ASTM Committee F10 on
Livestock, Meat, and Poultry Evaluation Systems.
The term livestock applies to both live animals and carcasses.
Livestock evaluation systems describe equipment and methods
that determine cash value.
Problems arise when chosen evaluation practices produce irregular
pricing. A meat packer can judge carcass value with a variety
of devices. They can opt to measure percent lean, pH, meat color,
palatability, water content, or other factors.
The committees standards will cover:
Equipment design resolution, units of measurement, and operator
Device performance repeatability (stability), audit, examination,
User requirements such as operation, installation, maintenance,
training, and calibration; and
Predictive accuracy including repeatability, audit, and examination.
Completed standards will be available for voluntary use and could
become mandatory. USDA members on the committee plan to propose
the standards for regulation through the U.S. Packers and Stockyards
Participating in the development of device-accuracy standards
are members of the National Conference on Weights and Measures
who maintain NIST Handbook 44 on Weights and Measuresthe law
governing measurement devices that is adopted with modifications
by each state.
Individuals are welcomed to participate on the committee. For
further information, contact Drew Azzara, assistant vice president, ASTM Technical Committee Operations
(phone: 610/ 832-9676).
Look for updates on Committee F10 activities in future issues
of Standardization News. //
Copyright 2001, ASTM